Unified Communications Adoption Outpaces Expectations

New global research released by Dimension Data reveals that unified communications technologies are high on organisations’ investment agendas following the rapid adoption of new technologies by IT users. Organisations perceive unified communications technologies to be reasonably mature, and will be investing in these technologies in the next six months to two years.

The research was commissioned by Dimension Data and conducted by Datamonitor, which surveyed IT managers and end-users across 13 countries, including the UK.

The findings show that organisations view ‘click-to-dial’ on desktops (52%) and ‘presence’ (42%) as maturing technologies which will be routinely used in the corporate environment within two years (See Fig. 1 below).

Most organisations have already invested in infrastructure technologies, with 37% of companies currently using IP telephony, followed by 36% using a video conferencing infrastructure. Although mobile VoIP is not widely used, an investment in the next two years is on corporate agendas.

The UK is below par when it comes to adoption of these technologies, however, with only 33% of those surveyed having IP Telephony, 28% using video conferencing and none at all using mobile VoIP. The United States leads the way in IP telephony adoption (60%), with Middle East and Africa having the lowest penetration at 13%.

Rob Lopez, Managing Director – Solutions at Dimension Data says, “The research indicates that unified communications and associated technologies are more widely adopted than anticipated. Whilst organisations have been reluctant or unable to adopt these technologies as a corporate standard, Dimension Data clients around the world are telling us that consumers are bringing these technologies into the workplace.

“Organisations intuitively understand the value of unified communications and the associated benefits. These include improved employee productivity and customer service, as well as infrastructure cost savings. In addition, the move to working-from-home – or flexi-working – initiatives around the world has also impacted the increase in adoption.”

The research also confirms that the management of unified communication technologies is being outsourced more frequently than other technologies, with 38% of the sample currently having technologies managed onsite or fully managed, followed by voice/data network management (34%).

Lopez concludes, “While companies consider the functionality that unified communications offers as core to conducting business in a profitable and cost effective way, these technologies can become complex to deploy and manage. Deploying unified communications as a corporate tool requires a stable operating environment, standardised systems and common identity management. Some organisations will therefore opt to outsource the management of unified communications to companies like Dimension Data.”

Other key findings in the Dimension Data survey include: unified communications is a vibrant and developing market; security is a concern rather than an issue; unified communications technologies are more likely to be outsourced or externally managed than other technologies; and unified communications mindshares are dominated by alpha brands within each market.

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